A well-known TV star has his eye on a giant political prize.
Former Apprentice host Donald Trump? Well, yes.
But George Lopez too is harboring grandiose political ambitions. Speaking with B&C, he reignited talk about running for mayor of Los Angeles. His top priorities would be alleviating the traffic situation, improving schools, and looking into where all the lottery revenue goes.
“Those are some places to start,” Lopez says.
Another topic he’s not afraid to touch: marijuana legalization. “Everybody else is legalizing marijuana, and we don’t,” he says, pointing to the revenue windfall in Colorado. “We should be ashamed of ourselves, since we smoke most of it.”
Lopez is in New York this week, talking up his new TV Land series Lopez, a scripted comedy loosely based on his life, and ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ Wednesday morning alongside his castmates. Lopez has done the semi-autobiographical thing before, playing “George Lopez” on the ABC comedy George Lopez, and “George” on the FX series Saint George. He also hosted late night talker Lopez Tonight on TBS from 2009 to 2011.
“This one is the most like me, and the most like the people around me,” he says of the new series.
This is not the first time Lopez has voiced his mayoral hopes, which came up with minimal prompting from us. He shared his ambitions with then-CNN host Piers Morgan in 2011. "This is a great city, and it's my city," Lopez said. "I believe that there are certain things that could be taken care of that you don't need a strong political background in."
A year ago on the Today show, Lopez said he was “absolutely serious” about running. The mayor’s office is up for grabs in 2017.
Lopez debuts March 30 and “explores the real George Lopez we rarely get to see, pushed and pulled between the worlds of race, class and fame, yet always having a hard time fitting in,” according to press materials. A few reviewers have compared the show, set all over Los Angeles with peeks behind the showbiz curtain, to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Lopez notes the “hurts-to-watch” aspect of Curb, and is fine with the comparison. “I wouldn’t mind being considered in the same arena,” he says.
TV Land is on board for a dozen episodes. Lopez’s partnership with the cable net was sparked by Eva Longoria, who suggested he take note of the channel’s increased focus on original comedies, such as Younger and Impastor. He refers to Los Angeles as “my studio”—the show set at his home and around town.
Lopez will also host the TV Land Icon Awards, which tapes in L.A. April 10 and airs a week later.
Lopez turns 55 next month, and realizes he may not have too many series, self-titled or other, left. “This show comes at the right time—it will fulfill me if it succeeds,” he says. “Creatively, it’s the one I’ll ride off into the sunset with.”
Or maybe, off to the Mayor’s Mansion.